Group 3: Andy, Jiaojiao, and Akari

1. Introduction

 The definition of “nggondhog” introduction file: Very disappointed feeling that cannot be expressed directly during the disappointing incident occurring.

Here’s our Indonesian partner’s, Luluk, explanation.

About nggondhog; It’s less than disappointed. It’s like composite feelings of cranky, powerless, angry, a bit disappointed at the same time. Ex: I felt nggondhog (disappointed, anger, and powerless) when my teacher told me I’d never amount to anything.

As an example: A mother was cooking and she asked her son to took care of the baby (her daughter). Her son kept the baby very well but the baby started to cry because she was hungry and the son tried so hard to stop it but he couldn’t. Then his mom came and said “I thought you already know what you have to do, but you didn’t. You can’t be trusted anymore, even for a little thing!” he did very well and tried so hard to stop the baby but it was not enough for his mom. He felt cranky and anger to his mom but he couldn’t express it, so it called nggondhog.

In Japanese for nggondhog, the term “uppun” 鬱憤 would be applicable, this shows the stress and the uncomfortable feelings piled up (for a certain period/duration) in your mind and you haven’t had a chance to express it or to relive it. As an example: An employee was working hard, but he was harassed by his violent boss, he was very upset, but he is a single father and has to raise his child, he can’t lose his job, so he let the depression in his mind, he is in “鬱憤” mood.

In Chinese, “哑巴吃黄连,有苦说不出” (Simplified) or “啞巴吃黃連,有苦說不出” (Traditional) means unable to express one’s discomfort, like a dumb person tasting bitter herbs; and to be compelled to suffer in silence. As an example: She helped the old man finding his lost purchase, fortunately, she found it! However, when she gave back to him, he framed her by saying the money inside was gone because she stole the money. She didn’t have evidence to prove she was innocent, so she was “啞巴吃黃連,有苦說不出” or “哑巴吃黄连,有苦说不出”.

All of them are the descriptive words, since these words are used due to express the feeling for the accident happened previously. However, there’s another possibility, that is, when someone has feeling like these words, he/she might want to vent his/her grievances so start telling the stories and expressing how he/she exactly feels.

2. Cases

Since there was no result for searching the word “nggondhog”, we asked our Indonesian partner Luluk.

Yes, I sometimes use nggondhog, when I can’t express those feelings, even when I speak in Indonesian language. Well nggondhog can be used in every situation, for examples, in school, it’s applicable when the student’s performance is underestimated by the teacher though working hard, or the teacher is tired of taking care of a bunch of naughty students but he can’t give up due to the responsibility.

On the contrary, there are rare situations for saying “鬱憤”. It’s relatively a difficult word, and more widely used by the elder generation rather than the young generation. When it is used, it’s describing the negative emotion toward the superior within a group, especially in a company.

“啞巴吃黃連,有苦說不出” or “哑巴吃黄连,有苦说不出” is commonly used in daily life, in any place, while it’s somehow a negative concept, which means the relationship needs to be close enough to express the bad feeling which the person you are talking to. 

Other forms: According to Luluk, the word nggondhog has no other form. It is a Javanese word, but not all Javanese people know that word, mostly the young generation because it’s a very local word.
Synonym: NA
Antonym: NA

Other form: NA
Synonym: 憤懣, 憤悶
Antonym: NA

Other form: Since it’s commonly used, it’s ok just simply saying 啞巴吃黃連(哑巴吃黄连) or有苦說不出(有苦说不出). 
Synonym: 有苦難言
Antonym: 一吐為快, 暢所欲言

3. Conclusion

About these three concepts, due to the definitions, first, they are all negative emotions, it may be anger, depression, sorrow, etc. Second, in conclusion, people who have these feelings suppress their emotion in their hearts. However, the difference between these three concepts is the reason people with these feeling left the emotion in their heart, it’s purely the lack of ability to convey or being forced to tolerate? According to the definition of “nggondhog”, it’s just saying “cannot be expressed directly”, not showing the preference of either side. When it comes to “鬱憤”, there’s no chance to express the feeling, seems to be the latter condition. However, the origin of “啞巴吃黃連,有苦說不出” or “哑巴吃黄连,有苦说不出” is that mute (啞巴) has no ability to speak out how bitter (苦) Chinese goldthread is, preferring the former one.

What I found interesting is what talked about in the last paragraph, why can’t these concepts completely the same? The origin of these words may be the clue. The regional difference of these cultures, take Japan as example, strict hierarchical relationship doesn’t allow inferiors to talk freely, hence it’s not hard to imagine the appearance of element of the force in “鬱憤”. Same for Chinese and Indonesian language, every unique cultural background hardly allows perfect translation. Maybe it’s better to learn the word and its meaning directly rather than to translate into other words. 

4. Extra Information

Thanks to our Indonesian partner Luluk, there is a Javanese story that can perfectly explain the concept “nggondhog”. 

Once upon a time there was a man named Ranggalawe, he was well known as a warrior. His father asked him to help someone named Raden Wijaya to built a kingdom. There were also Nambi and Sora to help Raden Wijaya, Nambi was not really good to fight but he had a good skill in making strategy. Sora was Ranggalawe’s uncle, he was also a good fighter as Ranggalawe. Ranggalawe, Nambi and Sora met Raden Wijaya and planned strategy to built the kingdom. Then, Raden Wijaya asked them to become a troop commanders, he promised them good position in the new kingdom and they agreed. After several battles, they succeed to built a kingdom called “Majapahit” and Raden Wijaya became king. Raden Wijaya kept his promised. He gave good position in the Majapahit Kingdom for Ranggalawe, Nambi, and Sora. But the positions were not the same. Nambi received the position of patih amangkubhumi. Nambi gained the highest position in comparison with Ronggolawe and Sora. Ronggolawe thought that he or Sora were more worthy than Nambi for this position. Then he came to the Kingdom and talked about the decision.

Ronggolawe    : “Why did you choose Nambi as patih amangkubhumi?”
Raden Wijaya : “I chose him because he has good skill to make strategy.”
Ronggolawe    : “Would you like to think that twice? Me or Sora are better because we are the fighter and Nambi didn’t do anything for Majapahit.”
Raden Wijaya : “No, I won’t, Ronggolawe.”
Ronggolawe    : “Okay if it’s your last decision.” (He was nggondhog to Raden Wijaya) 

Ronggolawe was so mad and disappointed at that time but he woudn’t show his feeling to Raden Wijaya. Then he left the Kingdom and prepared troops and strategy to attack Raden Wijaya because of his nggondhog feeling already changed into very disappointed. He was so disappointed with Raden Wijaya of his decision. 

Subsequently, he died on that war.

This story is referred from the book “Sejarah Raja-Raja Jawa(The history of Javanese Kings)”, which is based on Javanese history.

Combining to the concept “nggondhog”, we know that:

  1. Ranggalawe felt nggondhog to Raden Wijaya
  2. His nggondhog feeling changed into disappointed.